Imperial College London has predicted that the majority of Scotland is likely to still be a Covid ‘hotspot’ when the country moves to Level 0.
Scotland is due to move to the lowest level of Covid restrictions on July 19.
At a briefing today, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she “very much hopes” to move towards easing the restrictions and urged the situation will be under careful review between now and her address to Holyrood on Tuesday.
However, according to the Imperial College London most of mainland Scotland is likely to still be a Covid hotspot on July 19.
An area is considered to be a hotspot if the cases are likely to be higher than 100 per 100,000.
The north and north-east
The map shows that most areas in the north have a 90% or higher chance of being a hotspot when the restrictions ease.
It is thought that Aberdeen has a 99% chance of still being a Covid hotspot on July 19 alongside Dundee.
Recent data released by Public Health Scotland revealed that Aberdeen has the third lowest proportion of fully vaccinated people across Scotland with 45.17% of the population having been double jagged.
The data also shows that Dundee has the fourth lowest amount of fully vaccinated people with just over 48% having received both doses.
The Highlands has a 98% probability of being classed as a hotspot, meanwhile Angus has a 96% chance.
It has been predicted that Aberdeenshire has a 94% probability of still being a Covid hotspot, and Moray has an 84% chance.
Currently, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Dr Gray’s in Elgin and Raigmore Hospital in Inverness are all at the rare “code black” with under-pressure staff urging people only to come in if they need urgent care.
However, Na h-Eileanan Siar only has a 4% chance of being a Covid hotspot on July 18. The island was found to have the highest proportion of fully vaccinated people across the country with 69.82% of people being double jabbed.
Additionally, it is thought that both Orkney and Shetland are considered to be the areas least likely to become a Covid hotspot. They are the only areas across Scotland to have 0% chance of being a hotspot by July 18.
As of July 8, 3,900,864 people across Scotland have received the first dose of the Covid vaccination and 2,825,886 have received their second dose.
In her briefing today, Ms Sturgeon said the vaccination programme “continues to make really good progress”, adding that this was a cause for optimism.
But she added: “For now though that optimism needs to be balanced by concern at the high case numbers we have seen recently.”
Last week the Scottish Government announced they would provide the NHS health boards a funding boost of £380 million to help them cope with Test and Protect Services and the vaccination programme.
There has been drop-in vaccination clinics held in every health board across mainland Scotland in an attempt to boost the vaccine roll-out ahead of the July 18 target date for all adults in Scotland to have received at least one dose.
Jillian Evans, head of health intelligence at NHS Grampian, raised fears about restrictions easing across the UK, suggesting talk of a Freedom Day has come around “too soon”.
She stressed that Covid is not the flu and that the long-term impact of the virus on people’s health is not yet known.
However, Ms Evans is hopeful that the new drop-in vaccination centres will help increase the number of vaccinations across the region.
She warned that residents who had received both vaccinations should not be complacent and urged them to continue protecting themselves.